North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Pyongyang Prepares to Conference

Pyongyang citizens attend a celebration ceremony rehearsal for the upcoming Conference of Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Sept. 5, 2010. The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the WPK has announced that a conference of the WPK will be held in early September to elect its highest leading body. (Xinhua/Gao Haorong)

Despite a reported media blackout by the DPRK press, Pyongyang seems to be preparing for the 3rd Party Conference.  Reportedly KISYL charges are marching the city’s streets singing “Footsteps.”  On Sunday in Pyongyang, rehearsals for the 62nd anniversary of the DPRK’s establishment were conducted in KIS Square.  Xinhua reported on activities taking place around the city:

The cloudy and drizzling weather caused by typhoon did not discourage local residents from joining a massive rehearsal at the Kim Il Song Square in the city center. Several thousand people, with colorful plastic bouquets in hand, gathered at the square to practise for the celebration of the Party conference and their country’s 62nd birthday.

Near the square, the First Department Store of Pyongyang was opened as usual. Several policemen were drawing car parking lines on the ground in front of the store, apparently preparing for some big event.

A tourist bus pulled over near the fountain of the Mansudae Artistic Theater and some Malaysian tourists braved the rain to have their photos taken as a memento.

Near the theater, the Mansudae Assembly Hall, the venue for important conferences, looked fresh in the rain, showing no signs of any major conference going on there.

At a scenic spot along the Taedong River, some children, probably primary school pupils, were doing some rehearsal with small sticks in hand.

The posh Koryo Restaurant, which primarily serves foreigners, opened as usual and shopping centers around the city were crowded with customers.

The rain did cause some inconvenience for the rehearsals. Participants had to end their drills earlier and hurried home, thronging the almost deserted streets with commuters.

An affiliate of 38 North